Masterson focuses on three prime areas of the horses anatomy – 1.) The poll/atlas which I shared in the previous blog post; the wither/shoulder area, and the sacral/pelvis area. These are matrix areas where the skeleton has alot of movement and meeting of different anatomical structures (i.e. the withers/shoulders with forelegs and neck).
How does all this work and why does it work? There’s no guaranteed answer about that but I’ll give you my opinion for what it is worth. Touching areas of the skin in a gentle manner and holding that touch, can awaken the nervous system. The touch itself brings more blood and awareness to the skin/muscle where the touch is being applied. For the person who can use Reiki, it also directs energy and body heat to the focus spot.
The same can be said with the basic TTouch by Linda Tellington-Jones which mimics the turn of a clock from 12 to 9 and then back again to 6. Any sort of brushing, stroking, etc… would do the same. However, where these methods differ from grooming is the focused intent upon specific areas for an extended period of time.
Of course, a bonus is the sharing interaction between human and horse. For example, on our sunny, warm Sunday the entire session seemed to go along very smoothly with no end time and no rush. It generated a sharing, lazy “hanging out” session that I think was beneficial to all of us. In our crazy world of bills, errands and must-do’s we can lose this timelessness. As I told hubby Sunday morning, I have a lot of do-nothing to do today!
Under the Scapula release – If you look at Big Guy he has a clearly defined edge of the shoulder bone which you can work with your hands. Z’s is tight and there is little to no shoulder groove. From the weeklong TTeam clinic I attended, I know this is because she has tight shoulders and that gradual work can produce a nicer groove, with more shoulder movement available to the horse.
This movement bends the nose towards the shoulder while your hand slides down and under the scapula ridge. Just as I expected the right side was extremely hard and Z showed some resistance by moving backwards. However, I did get more movement then I expected so I’m very encouraged.
Scapula Release with Leg Down and Back and Leg Down and Forward ~ The leg down and back was a bit difficult for Z. Not that she couldn’t bring the leg back but releasing the tension wasn’t easy for her. She easily released bringing the leg forward and down.
I did get the forelegs done on Sunday but didn’t get the hindlegs done. That will be something to work on next week when husband can help. With Z’s history of kicking, I am leery of working intensly behind unless I have a helper as there is no hitching or tie rack where I currently board.
Wither Rock ~ Tried it but didn’t get the feel of this one. Definitely one to work on at the clinic.
Under tail points ~ Under the tail at 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock are pressure points (Sacrotuberous Ligament) that are to be touched lightly, one at a time. Because of some personal history in having Reiki done due to sciatic pain, I used one of these points and combined it with one of the hindquarter points. These are all done with light touches and are not manipulating joint touches like the front end manuveurs.
There is another point under the tail (Pubic Symphysis) but I didn’t get to it on Sunday.
Hindquarter points ~ There are four points on each side of the horses hindquarters that are mirrored on the opposite: the Scroiliac Point (on top, at about the croup), the Hip Joint, the Pelvic Point, and at the inside point of the stifle.
The biggest reaction I received was from the stifle point. This will be something I’ll continue to work as she gave me an ear warning and with her history of kicking, it will need to be done slowly and carefully.
Spinal Wave (meeting the middle) ~ I did experiment with this a little to get a feel for it. With my right hand under the tail, at 1 o’clock, I gently rocked the body to see movement travel from the hind to the fore, resulting in the head at half mast and the nose making small, in rhythm circles.
If you are familiar with dressage, this wave like movement from hind to end is really helpful in connecting front to back, as well as helping the back to relax.